The Milwaukee Bucks outlasted the Miami Heat in Game 1 to take the early series lead. It’s still too early to tell, though, whether they have this in the bag, as the Miami Heat are also known for their resiliency.
Catch this game live on Tuesday, May 25, at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Milwaukee Bucks (1-0, 1-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Donte DiVincenzo
- SF: Khris Middleton
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Brook Lopez
Even though the Bucks’ outside shooting seemed to have deserted them in Game 1, they found a way to incur severe damage on Miami’s defense by bullying the Heat inside.
The Bucks, who came away with a 109-107 victory in the series opener, went just 5 of 31 from behind the arc but outscored Miami in the paint, 56-24. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday scored 20 and 16 points in the shaded area, respectively.
It’s good for the Bucks to know that they have Miami’s faulty interior defense to capitalize on when their shots aren’t falling from deep. But it’s also not hard to see the Bucks trying to recover their touch from downtown in Game 2.
After all, they were hitting 14.3 threes per game back in the regular season. That’s good for the fifth-best in the NBA. Either way, the offense still has plenty of upside in this series for the Bucks, who are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against a team with a winning road record.
ROAD TEAM: Miami Heat (0-1, 0-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kendrick Nunn
- SG: Duncan Robinson
- SF: Jimmy Butler
- PF: Trevor Ariza
- C: Bam Adebayo
The Heat were not able to get the job done in Game 1, but there are a few positives for them to build on, heading into the next game. Take for example the hot shooting of Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic.
Miami needs all hands on deck to combat the Bucks’ high-flying offense, and in Game 1, the Heat managed to keep the game close with its defense and the 24 points of Robinson and 25 from Dragic off the bench. Miami also hit 20 threes on 50 takes. If those two players could sustain that kind of production in support of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, then expect games in this series to be nip-and-tuck affairs from start to finish.
Also note that Miami has carried over its hot 3-point shooting late in the regular season into the playoffs. The Heat shot 43.7% from the outside in their last five games before the playoffs.
Speaking of defense, Miami held the Greek Freak to only 10-of-22 shooting, thanks to Adebayo, Trevor Ariza, and even Dewayne Dedmon, who took turns in covering the two-time MVP. The Heat are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games.
I got a feeling the Bucks’ offense will wake up in Game 2. Take Milwaukee to win and cover (-4.5)
This will be a looser game with the Bucks going nuts offensively. I’m also expecting the pace to be faster because of improved outside shooting for Milwaukee. Take the Over (222.5)